P965 S3 Problems Installing Window! Can't even Format!

OK, I've googled this problem, and looked through the FAQs, but can't find an answer to this.
I also didn't want to post in the sticky thread becuase I have an S3 (I know it's essentially the same), and I've posted in there before and didn't get any answers.
The manual is also NO help at all!
I have built SEVERAL computers over the years, so I wouldn't say I'm a noob at this either...

Whenever I try to install windows it asks me which partition to use and I choose c: and try to have it format with ntfs. Right after it gets to 100%, an error message comes up and says that the format failed and windows setup can not continue on this drive. It also says the drive may be bad. So, then I try to install it on d: (another drive), but it does the same thing. This is what I have tried:
1. Changing sata drives from purple gigabyte sata to the yellow ones - BTW: which is better?
2. Changing the settings in the BIOS from IDE to AHCI to RAID/IDE - BTW: what the hell do all these mean (another place the manual is useless).
3. Trying to install the raid drivers on a floppy by pressing F6 at the beggining of Windows Setup.
4. Trying a different Xp setup disk.
5. Flashed to F6 BIOS (I actually did this first).

I just used these drives with my old sytem, and they were fine!

WTF am I doing wrong? I'm about to go insane! I've been up all night trying different things. The manual sux, and of course Gigabyte isn't open on a Saturday. I can't call them on the weekdays becuase I'm so busy at work (I've actally had all of the parts since Tues, but couldn't start building until Fri night).


This is my setup:
E6300@stock
Gigabyte P965-S3 F6 BIOS
2x1GB Kingston Hyper-X 750MHz @ Auto
EVGA 7900GTO
Sunbeam NUUO 550W PSU
WD 250GB SATA II 16MB Cache (drive 0)
Seagate 320GB SATA II 16MB Cache (drive 1)
Trying to install Win XP w/ SP2


Thanks
12 answers Last reply
More about p965 problems installing window format
  1. You're not using RAID, right?

    Take the second drive out.

    Leave it set at IDE, use the yellow connectors, don't F6 anything and let 'er rip.


    Do a slow, NTFS format, not the quick format.

    If that fails, its likely that your drive is bad.
  2. Thanks for the reply.
    Correct, I am not using RAID (the drives aren't the same).

    I'll try it out.

    BTW, I had tried both the slow and quick formal options - last night I was really pissed when after more than an hour of formatting it said it failed. :x
  3. Well, I got it working.
    I tried what you suggested but got the same error. Thanks anyway.
    Then I tried deleting the partition, then trying to get the Win Install cd to format. That worked. I can't believe I didn't try that before. I guess I'm just tired. I've been under a lot of stress lately.

    I'm using purple connection and IDE. If I switch to AHCI later, will that give me problems?
  4. The purple connectors are the Gigabyte controller. The yellow ones are the Intel controller.

    Anyway, since you didn't install the ACHI drivers, I suspect you'll be disappointed.
  5. Quote:
    The purple connectors are the Gigabyte controller. The yellow ones are the Intel controller.

    Anyway, since you didn't install the ACHI drivers, I suspect you'll be disappointed.


    Are the Intel ones better? I've heard a lot of people say the Gigabyte ones are better?

    Why will I be disappointed?
  6. Quote:
    The purple connectors are the Gigabyte controller. The yellow ones are the Intel controller.

    Anyway, since you didn't install the ACHI drivers, I suspect you'll be disappointed.


    Are the Intel ones better? I've heard a lot of people say the Gigabyte ones are better?

    Why will I be disappointed?

    I wanted to use the ICH8R, so I used the yellow ones.

    you'll be disappointed because you won't be able to read your disks at all because you never installed the ACHI drivers.
  7. Quote:
    When formatting a drive, you always delete all partitions.


    No you don't.
  8. Quote:
    When formatting a drive, you always delete all partitions.


    No you don't.

    Ditto that, no you dont!! I delete my c drive but have left my d drive partition for over a year now...and thats over half a dozen formats.

    About the controllers: Your hard drive must first of all be AHCI or NCQ enabled for this system to work...else it will be pointless. My Maxtor Diamondmax 9 is not, so for me it didnt help in the slightest...however the newer 10 series is, so you'd certainly find it beneficial.

    The Intel ports btw are the better ones in my experience of reading.
  9. Thanks Guys.
    So sruane,
    You are saying I'll be disapointed if I try to change the BIOS setting to AHCI now, because I didn't install the AHCI drivers right?
  10. Quote:
    Thanks Guys.
    So sruane,
    You are saying I'll be disapointed if I try to change the BIOS setting to AHCI now, because I didn't install the AHCI drivers right?


    According to INTEL:

    NOTE: If you are using a SATA hard drive, the best choice is to set your BIOS to RAID mode and install the operating system using the F6 installation procedure; RAID mode allows your system to be "RAID Ready" and also enables AHCI. This mode provides the greatest overall flexibility and upgradeability.

    WARNING: Switching SATA modes in the BIOS after installing the operating system is not recommended when a SATA drive is the boot drive. Switching modes may cause an "NTLDR" error, an immediate blue screen error followed by a reboot, or another boot failure.

    http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imst/sb/cs-015988.htm
  11. OK, Thanks for all your help.
  12. Quote:
    Well, I got it working.
    I tried what you suggested but got the same error. Thanks anyway.
    Then I tried deleting the partition, then trying to get the Win Install cd to format. That worked. I can't believe I didn't try that before. I guess I'm just tired. I've been under a lot of stress lately.

    I'm using purple connection and IDE. If I switch to AHCI later, will that give me problems?


    I have exactly the same problem as you. But you realise, by using the purple connection as I did, we've only diverted away from the problem.

    If you tried formatting again with the yellow ports you'll get the same error format stuck at 20% or 100% for longer formats.

    Which is absolutely stupid, the yellow ones are meant to be trouble free, yet using them won't let me do any format completely.
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